The city of Erlangen
The ‘Orangerie’ in the Schloßgarten (photo by Laura Albers)
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) is spread across the Nuremberg metropolitan area. According to the Reuters Ranking 2019, it is the most innovative university in Germany, and the 14th of the whole world. In the „Shanghai Ranking“ of Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2021, FAU belongs to the top 300 universities worldwide.
Our courses and the Faculty of Natural Sciences are in Erlangen, but thanks to efficient public transport, students can choose from a wide housing offer, from lively downtown Nuremberg to countryside locations outside Erlangen.
The Faculty of Natural Sciences is organized into five departments. Our institution, the GeoZentrum Nordbayern (focusing on geosciences), belongs in the Department of Geology and Geography. The Head of department is current Wolfgang Kiessling who is leading the paleobiology program at FAU.
The main building of the GeoZentrum has a very central location, in the Gardens of the University Castle (in the Schloßgarten). Most geology-related courses take place in this building - except most master-level paleontology courses, which are organized by the staff working at the Chair of Paleontology.
Chair of Palaeontology
For historic reasons, the Chair of Paleontology (Lehrstuhl für Paläoumwelt) is somewhat separated physically from the rest of the GeoZentrum, and its buildings are spread out.
- Main building
The main building (usually referred to as the “Institute”, or just “Pal”) is technically an old, three-strey villa, about ten minutes of walk away from the GeoZentrum, in Loewenichstr. 28. Most of the teaching staff has offices in this building, and this is the place to find our secretary as well. Some parts of the palaeontology collection are also stored in the basement.
- Lab building
Opening from the garden of the main building is the laboratory building (Fichtestr. 8), where most equipment is located, including the rock lab, our Micro Computed Tomograph, MicroMill and Scanning Electron Microscope.
- The "Green" building
Across the street from the main building is the green building (Fichtestr. 12), which has offices that are usually occupied by PhD students and PostDocs, and it also has workspace for master students.
The recently acquired Henkstraße building (Henkestr. 91) is about 5 minutes of walk away from the rest of the buildings. It is a part of the “Medical Valley” and contains some more offices, our discipline-specific library, and our main seminar room.
Despite the small size of our field, we have three professors focusing on Paleontology, which makes the Erlangen group a unique hub of paleontological research in Europe.